Mumbai, Jul 29: Accepting the confession made by a man to a doctor that he had killed his wife by slashing her wrists and in remorse attempted suicide, the Bombay High Court has reduced the life imprisonment awarded to him by a lower court to ten years.
A sewri court in Mumbai had sentenced Vilas Hanumant Gujar to life imprisonment on November 14, 2007, on the charge of murdering his wife by slashing her wrists.
Being aggrieved, he filed an appeal in the high court which reduced his jail term, holding him guilty of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder' (304 part I IPC) instead of murder (302 IPC).
Vilas pleaded not guilty to the charges saying he and his wife Neeta had attempted to commit suicide. While his wife died, he was injured and given treatment because of which he survived.
Justices Mridula Bhatkar V K Tahilramani observed “the appellant is held guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder of his wife thereby punishable under section 304 part-I of IPC and he is sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for ten years and a fine of Rs 3,000 or in default further one year RI”.
On May 27, 2005, Vilas had quarrelled with Neeta and in a fit of rage, he cut both the veins of her wrists and later cut his own veins on the forearms.
Neeta died due to hemorrhagic shock. The couple were lying in a pool of blood till afternoon when police arrived after getting a message.
They were taken to hospital where Vilas was treated.
Defence counsel A G Toraskar argued that the accused did not have any intention to kill his wife but the assault has taken place in a heat of anger and therefore he should be given the benefit of exception 4 to section 300 of IPC that the incident has taken place in a sudden quarrel.
He also pointed out that the appellant in remorse, has inflicted injuries to himself and to that effect the evidence is before the court.
“We are inclined to accede to the submission made by the learned defence counsel on the point of sentence as we have believed the evidence on the point of extra-judicial confession made by the appellant to witness, Dr Sanjay Mahendru”, the judges said.